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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, December 29, 2017

President Trump Surfs A Prosperity Wave That Could Grow Larger

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: During Christmas, President Trump, according to Reuters.com, observed
“We’ve got prosperity - now we want peace,” Trump told a child named Ryan, who called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to check on Santa’s progress.Whether or not In Trump You Trust, peace and prosperity are his signature themes. “We've got prosperity” is a big claim.

Yet, so far, it’s pretty well grounded. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports real GDP growth rate of over 3% for both the second and third quarters of 2017, substantially greater than the rate of the two previous years. If it keeps up it represents a significant breakthrough.

That’s a breakthrough that plenty of naysayers claimed impossible. It is one that some “until the last dog dies” Dems still deny.

Does President Trump deserve the credit for this wave of handsome growth?

Skill? Luck?

Politically, doesn't matter. Voters just want results.

Accordingly to Washington Post economic columnist Robert Samuelson, Fed Chair Janet Yellen deserves the lion’s share of the credit:
One of Washington’s permanent parlor games is how much credit or blame a president deserves for the state of the economy. Inevitably, then, the question being asked now is whether Donald Trump or Barack Obama created today’s strong economy. The correct answer: neither. To the extent that personal responsibility can be assigned, the worthy recipient is Janet Yellen.

In practice, presidents’ influence over the economy is limited. If it were otherwise, we’d live in an economic paradise.

Unemployment would always be low, wages would always rise, and recessions would never occur. No one has that kind of power.

Presidents and their agencies can’t govern the business cycle. ... Under Yellen, the economy has made huge progress. Here’s the record since she became Fed head in February 2014: Payroll employment has expanded by nearly 10 million jobs; the unemployment rate has dropped from 6.7 percent to 4.1 percent; average hourly earnings, uncorrected for inflation, rose from $24.32 to $26.55. (Corrected for inflation, the wage gain is about 4 percent — not great but not stagnation either. The pace, if maintained, would be roughly 10 percent over a decade.)
Notwithstanding Fed skeptics like Forbes.com’s own John Tamny, Samuelson makes a reasonably persuasive case.

Also giving the Yellen Fed high marks is one of the most highly esteemed monetary economists working today, Scott Sumner. For the benefit of those (unlike me) who were not born and bred in the monetary policy briar patch Sumner was called by The Atlantic Monthly: “The Blogger Who Saved The Economy.”
Have you heard of Scott Sumner? Unless you're an economist, an economic blogger, or a student at Bentley University, where Sumner is a professor, you probably haven't. And that's a shame. Because there's an outside chance that he just saved the economy.

Sumner is the author of The Money Illusion, an excellent blog that has relentlessly made the case since 2009 for an eccentric policy called "NGDP targeting." This is a complicated sounding plan with a simple idea at its heart. If the equation that solves the economic crisis is "GDP growth + inflation = 5%" then the solution to low GDP growth is inflation that brings us up to 5%. Therefore, the Federal Reserve should announce that it will do everything in its power to raise inflation expectations until we're back to where we want to be.

Three years ago, this idea didn't have a stable home outside the wilderness of The Money Illusion. But it slowly gained credence among bloggers, economists, and finally, the Federal Reserve itself.
So, what’s next for the political economy and your portfolio?

Sumner, now at Mercatus Center, wrote earlier this year at The Money Illusion, An even greater moderation?
I am going to go out on a limb and predict that we are now entering a new Great Moderation, even more stable than the 1985-2007 period. … So why do I think we are entering an even greater moderation?  Seven reasons, none of which I expect people will find all that persuasive…Which Sumner then enumerates. And which I find pretty persuasive. Sumner, along with David Beckworth, also at Mercatus, are two of the leading proponents of something called “market monetarism” or NGDP targeting.

Per Wikipedia:
Market monetarism is a school of macroeconomic thought that advocates that central banks target the level of nominal income instead of inflation, unemployment, or other measures of economic activity, including in times of shocks such as the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2006, and in the financial crisis that followed.[1] In contrast to traditional monetarists, market monetarists do not believe monetary aggregates or commodity prices such as gold are the optimal guide to intervention. Market monetarists also reject the New Keynesian focus on interest rates as the primary instrument of monetary policy. Market monetarists prefer a nominal income target due to their twin beliefs that rational expectations are crucial to policy, and that markets react instantly to changes in their expectations about future policy, without the "long and variable lags" postulated by Milton Friedman.As an aside, Memo to Drs. Sumner and Beckworth. According to Braithwaite Communications, per Nobel Prize in Economics winner Daniel Kahneman:“No one ever made a decision because of a number,” Kahneman said afterward. “They need a story.”

He went on to demonstrate this phenomenon in multiple experiments. In case after case, he showed that people disregard even obvious facts and figures in favor of more vivid descriptions.

In essence, the easier people can picture something in their heads, the more they believe it.

“The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little,” Kahneman later wrote in his best-selling book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

Long story short: stories drive decisions. Data is difficult to decipher when it’s isolated, but it becomes meaningful if packaged with familiar or evocative concepts.

Anyone that ignores this reality is fighting against human nature. That’s a war you can’t win.
Where does President Trump, a master of “evocative concepts,” come in?

President Trump, uncharacteristically without much fanfare or drama, recently made and announced what is and will probably be the most important action respecting economic policy of his entire first term. Trump nominated Fed Governor Jerome Powell to succeed Chair Yellen at the Fed.

Powell has been described as a Yellen-like “cautious dove.” "Cautious hawk" might be more apt, yet all to the good.

Also, Memo to Fed Chair-designate Powell. Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca, writing recently at the Council on Foreign Relations, warn Powell of the danger of becoming an Accidental Hawk:
Fed Chair nominee Jerome (Jay) Powell was a logical choice for Fed chair. A business-friendly Republican, he is likely to push forward President Trump’s deregulation agenda in the financial sector while continuing the Yellen Fed’s softly-softly approach to monetary tightening—an approach that has kept markets unusually calm and cheerful. Yet the course on which he’s heading looks more hawkish than he intends.So, nothing taken for granted here. Yet there are grounds for optimism.

Trump’s appointment of Powell may have secured the sustainability of “the greater moderation,” permitting economic expansion to continue -- and grow. This may be far more significant than the recent high-profile tax cut passed in the Congress and signed into law with great fanfare by President Trump on December 22, who declared:
And all of this — everything in here — is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers. And I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs. And jobs are produced through companies and corporations, and you see that happening. Corporations are literally going wild over this, I think even beyond my expectations, so far beyond my expectations.One hopes that these claims are not mere hyperbole. Sumner, like me, concludes, "Will the tax cut boost growth?  I am enough of a supply-sider to think the answer is "yes", and enough of a realist to think the growth effects will be quite modest, maybe a couple of tenths of percent per year over the next decade (mostly front-loaded)."

The classic Mundell/Laffer/Kemp/Reagan supply-side policy mix weighted the restoration of good monetary policy at least as heavily as, perhaps more than, tax rate reductions. The vanquishing of inflation by Chairman Paul Volcker certainly was as important in unleashing the tsunami of economic growth as were the tax rate reductions.

Volcker’s successor, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, eventually disclosed his own Secret Sauce behind the Great Moderation and its attendant sizzling growth. Greenspan, earlier this year, revealed that during the period of the Great Moderation he was carefully emulating the operation of the gold standard. As I wrote here:
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan just provided a barely noticed Big Reveal. In an interview with the World Gold Council’s Gold Investor Chairman Greenspan, stating “I view gold as the primary global currency,” went on to explicitly reveal, for the first time to my knowledge, that “When I was Chair of the Federal Reserve I used to testify before US Congressman Ron Paul, who was a very strong advocate of gold. We had some interesting discussions. I told him that US monetary policy tried to follow signals that a gold standard would have created.

The period of "following signals that a gold standard would have created," called the Great Moderation under President Clinton, was one of the most equitably prosperous in modern American history. That era saw the creation of over 20 million jobs. Robust growth converted the federal deficit into a surplus. It was, if only virtually rather than institutionally, a golden age.
The full interview at Gold Investor is well worth reading. It emphasizes the significance which Greenspan, during this period, attached to the dollar price of gold.

To loop back to Chair Yellen for a moment. The Fed appears to have stabilized the dollar-denominated price of gold between $1100/oz and $1400/oz -- primarily between $1200 to $1300 -- since January 2014. This would appear consistent with the range maintained by Chairman Greenspan during the Great Moderation.

Brava, Chair Yellen!  Will Chair Powell follow her example?

Let's hope so.

Greenspan’s secret monetary compass was inferred in 1995 by monetary economists William Lastrapes and George Selgin (now at Cato Institute), from the University of Georgia, in Gold Price Targeting By The Fed. Excellent deduction, Holmes! Greenspan, in the tradition of opacity deemed seemly by all central bankers, did not confirm this until over 20 years later. Yet there it is.

My favorite monetary economist considers NGDP targeting a (far) second-best option, after the classical gold standard. That said, for now, let us Gold Standard vs. Market Monetarist Bugs set aside our squabbles and cautiously toast the nomination of Jerome Powell and wish him great success.

Let this brief truce be undertaken in the spirit of humility, a quality for which I, neither an economist nor a PhD, am far more entitled than are Drs. Sumner and Beckworth. After all, as the Bank of England’s flamboyant governor Montagu Norman once said to a new staff economist, “We have appointed you as our economics adviser. Let me tell you that you are not here to tell us what to do, but to explain to us why we have done it.”

Thus, let us now praise President Trump for his appointment of Jerome “Cautious Hawk” Powell to the chairmanship of the Fed. And let us hope that the President’s astute appointment will lead to a continued, even heightened, organic economic expansion through 2018 and beyond.
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Ralph Benko is an advisor to nonprofit and advocacy organizations, is a member of the Conservative Action Project, a contributor to the contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Ralph Benko, President Trump, Surfs, Prosperity Wave, Could Grow Larger To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Zeroing In on Clinton Corruption

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Does the name Marc Rich ring a bell?

January 20, 2001 was Bill Clinton’s last day in office as POTUS. And it was the day that Bill and Hillary Clinton cemented their legacy as the most corrupt government officials in the history of our nation.

On that day Bill Clinton pardoned his long time friend and benefactor, Marc Rich, from a laundry list of domestic and international crimes that had made him filthy rich. Make that filthy and rich.

When the entire civilized world boycotted trade with apartheid South Africa, Rich made a cool $2 billion illegally selling them oil. He was a primary supplier of forbidden goods to the Ayatollah Khomeini when Iran was holding 53 Americans hostage. His list of favorite trading partners reads like the “Who’s Who” of bad-ass dictators: Kim Il Sung, Muammar Khadafi, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic.

On the home front, Rich’s face adorned every post office as an FBI “ten most wanted”. When Rudy Giuliani indicted him for racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, trading with enemies of the United States and $50 million in tax fraud in 1983, Marc Rich fled to Switzerland and other exotic locales, where he continued to enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and famous. He was never intimidated by the FBI warrants, or the huge rewards offered by the IRS for his capture. But after many years on the lam, Rich missed the glitter of American high society, so he started buying political favors to set the wheels of his return in motion. These included a $450,000 contribution (via his wife) to the Clinton Library, and at least $1 million to a variety of Democrat campaigns – a small price to pay, and doubtless just the tip of the corruption iceberg.

In return, President Clinton spent one of his political “nine lives” on the Rich pardon that Jimmy Carter described as “disgraceful” and even Democrat Congressman Barney Frank, whose Washington, DC apartment was headquarters for a gay prostitution ring, called “contemptuous”.

But after a little short-term embarrassment, it appeared that the Clinton Cartel had dodged yet another political bullet unscathed. The Rich pardon was the gift that kept on giving as associates, attorneys, and friends of Rich continued to shower millions of dollars on the Clintons, year after year, even after Rich’s death in 2013.

One of Rich’s closest associates, Gilbert Chagoury, donated millions to the corrupt Clinton Foundation, gave Bill Clinton huge speaking fees, and pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Initiative. Yes, that’s billion with a “B”. The Clintons have been exceedingly chummy with Chagoury in recent years.

Another Rich ally is Dan Gertler, who amassed a fortune dealing in clandestine Nigerian diamonds and is a principle of Glencore, the trading company founded by Rich.

Since that one executive pardon made on the last day of his presidency, Bill Clinton and his partner in crime, Hillary, have been on cruise control, enjoying the seemingly limitless largess of Marc Rich’s successors. Nothing could get in their way.

Until Trump.

On December 20, 2017 President Trump enacted Executive Order #13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption”. It specifically names 13 bad guys whose assets are to be frozen and seized, including the aforementioned Dan Gertler and several other bad actors who have ties to Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

And in addition to the 13 named scumbags, Trump’s order goes after anyone who is:(A) responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse;
(B) a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in:
(1) corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the ex-propriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery;
or
(2) the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption
In other words, it goes after anybody named Bill or Hillary Clinton.

This could be fun.
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Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

Tags: Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, Trump Zeroing In, Clinton Corruption To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

President Trump’s Education as Commander in Chief

Newt Gingrich: Would you believe that during his first year as Commander in Chief, President Donald Trump hosted 43 world leaders at the White House. In total, he engaged or met with 149 world leaders in 2017. In 183 calls, the President spoke with leaders from 51 countries. Not exactly the lack of connectivity his critics expected a year ago.

When President Trump won the election, his critics expressed great concern about his apparent lack of preparation and experience in foreign policy and national security.

Even Republicans in the foreign policy and national security establishment were deeply opposed to the Trump Presidency because they believed he lacked sufficient knowledge to lead.

As I pointed out in my #1 New York Times best seller Understanding Trump, it is easy to underestimate the speed at which Trump learns. He listens constantly (I tell folks he always listens, but he doesn’t always obey). He is endlessly curious about virtually everything. He built a worldwide corporate system, which includes hotels, office buildings, golf courses, books, wine, and a successful reality show. That took constant curiosity as he stretched again and again beyond the real estate skills his father taught him back in Queens.

One of the keys to the Trump learning system is his intuition about personnel. He has hired a lot of people in his life, and he has a pretty good instinct for defining what he needs. For his national security team, he brought in Marine four-star General Jim Mattis to be Secretary of Defense, Army three-star Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster to be National Security Advisor, and Marine four-star General John Kelly to be Secretary of Homeland Security. Kelly proved so effective, the President brought him in to be White House Chief of Staff. It would be hard to suggest that President Trump has lacked competent professional military advice.

That may also explain why after years of the Obama team’s failure to defeat ISIS, the new Trump team calmly and professionally destroyed its territorial base in less than a year. In fact, the Trump team was so efficient and competent, the victory has been virtually unnoticed in the anti-Trump elite media.

According to the Daily Caller, “ISIS retains historically low numbers of fighters, controls little territory and has lost much of its command and control facilities in Iraq and Syria. The vast majority of the military progress against the group occurred in 2017.”

Part of his success has been due to President Trump’s ability and willingness to listen to leaders who host him when he travels. During the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, not only did the King of Saudi Arabia meet President Trump at the airport, but he was at his side any time President Trump was in public during his stay. The amount of time in which they had to compare notes and discuss Iran, terrorism, and Israel was significant and historic.

At the State Department, President Trump wanted a major leader as Secretary of State, and as the CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson seemed the central casting vision of a global leader. He had routinely made billion-dollar deals, and he was comfortable and experienced in dealing with world leaders. In the first six months of the new administration, Tillerson played an important role in calming fears until people around the world got to know President Trump.

When the President made his controversial decision to move the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem, he had been talking with every major American ally in the region for weeks. No one was surprised, and their approving reactions have been muted by the elite media.

President Trump’s growth as a foreign policy and national security leader is something which deserves major acknowledgment in every year-end review of 2017. Donald Trump is not the president his critics feared. He is adroitly learning the trade of presidential leadership at a rapid pace.

P.S. On Wednesday, I wrote about how dishonest the media has been about President Trump’s achievements. On Thursday, I found more confirmation. The elite media has written endlessly about the President’s supposedly low approval ratings, yet a recent Rasmussen poll shows that President Trump’s approval rating was nearly identical to Obama’s on December 28, 2009.
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Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

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Under Investigation: Obama's Favors For Hezbollah

. . . AG reviewing allegations law enforcement 'derailed' to save Iran deal.
Former President Obama (Photo: Twitter)

by Bob Unruh: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing Project Cassandra, a highly classified law enforcement program by the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Obama administration, because of claims the drug-smuggling activities of the terrorist group Hezbollah got a pass from the president, according to reports.

The Jerusalem Post reported Sessions is looking into Project Cassandra after Politico reported the Obama administration “derailed” the law enforcement efforts “in its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.”

Politico said the Obama administration foiled the law enforcers that were targeting “drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine in the United States.”

The investigation began in 2008 after the DEA found evidence that the terrorist group “had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collected $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

Some 30 law enforcement agencies eventually collaborated.

Legal experts at the American Center for Law and Justice said the DOJ and DEA should reauthorize the investigation “and continue their efforts to oppose Hezbollah and bring its operatives to justice.”

ACLJ said Sessions ordered a review of “allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”

The legal team said the reported incentive for the Obama administration to halt prosecutors working on the case was “to placate Iran as the controversial Iran nuclear deal was being hammered out.”

Members of Congress also reportedly are investigating.

ACLJ said the DEA investigation of Project Cassandra “found that Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, had laundered nearly a half billion dollars and was actively transporting cocaine into the United States.”

“Politico’s shocking report indicates that the Obama administration threw roadblocks in front of investigators and also failed to prosecute major players in the criminal enterprise. DEA officers had worked for years on the project, operating out of a facility in Chantilly, Virginia. The agency sought approval for arrests, prosecutions and financial sanctions – none of which [was] allowed by the Obama White House.”

ACLJ report noted Hezbollah “is not your ordinary criminal organization.’

“It is the largest non-state terrorist group and organized crime syndicate in the world. Hezbollah is both a terrorist organization and a military organization. It is also a political party with members seated in the Lebanese Parliament. Iran, the world leading state sponsor of terrorism, is its patron. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps trains Hezbollah fighters. In exchange, Hezbollah – on behalf of Iran – trains Shia terrorists across the Middle East and North Africa in order to give Iran the veneer of deniability in its nefarious operations in places like Iraq and Yemen.”

Hezbollah’s business operations include “suicide attacks, kidnappings, assassinations, rocket fire and missile attacks to terrorize and kill innocent civilians.”

“It supports Islamist terrorists around the globe, including those in South America and the United States. It is one of the major conduits of illegal drugs that make their way into the United States, much of it through the Mexican border. The group is responsible for killing more Americans than any other terrorist group except al-Qaida, including the 241 U.S. Marines killed in the barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983. In the so-called Second Lebanese War, Hezbollah killed 163 Israeli citizens,” ACLJ reported.

ACLJ said the Politico report was credible, and “to turn a blind eye to an international terrorist organization in order to broker an ill-advised nuclear agreement with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is the irony of ironies – and, if true, the Obama administration’s efforts to derail Project Cassandra wreaks of disrespect for law enforcement, a cavalier approach to national security, and a casual disregard for the victims of the drug trade across the United States.”

The Jerusalem Post noted that after investigators obtained evidence, they were denied “approval for indictments from the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury, both of which ‘delayed, hindered or rejected’ their plans.”

Obama officials have denied any such role in stopping the DEA’s investigation for political purposes.
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Bob Unruh joined World News Daily in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers.
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Tags: Bob Unruh, World News Daily, Under Investigation, Obama's Favors, Hezbollah To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

45%, Standing With Israel, Merry Christmas From Israel

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: 45% - What's that? It is, according to the most accurate pollster of 2016, President Trump's approval rating as we approach the end of his first year in office. It is, by the way, almost exactly where Barack Obama finished his first year in office.

But there's one very big difference. The media were cheerleading for Obama virtually every day. In Trump's case, they are waging a jihad against his presidency.

Day after day, 24 hours a day, every power center in America -- the media, the political left, academia, Hollywood, judicial activists, deep state bureaucrats and "#NeverTrumpers" in his own party -- have ridiculed and "resisted" this president.

Yet in spite of it all, 45% of Americans still support him.

What does the left have left? They not only threw the proverbial kitchen sink at him, they threw the microwave, the toaster, the blender and the refrigerator too!

Their one hope is that Robert Mueller can come up with trumped up charges to force the president and Vice President Mike Pence out of office. And they are preparing for that very prospect.

As I have reported in recent weeks, the left's biggest donor, billionaire Tom Steyer, has spent tens of millions of dollars ginning up the radical left-wing base by promoting the fantasy that President Trump should be impeached.

So by all means, my friends, let's celebrate that we made it through 2017! But steel yourselves for the year ahead. It is going to be one heck of a fight!

Standing With Israel - Judging by his first year in office, President Trump will go down in the history books as the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman!

Just days after his declaration formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, top security officials from Israel and America signed a joint memorandum of understanding at the White House detailing a strategy for confronting the Holocaust-denying regime in Iran.

Reports broke late yesterday afternoon that "the agreement would translate President Trump's October speech decertifying the Iran deal into steps on the ground." The agreement calls for the U.S. and Israel to form several "joint teams" dedicated to:
  • Confronting Hezbollah's activities in Lebanon and Syria.
  • Confronting Iran's nuclear ambitions, including its missile program.
  • Preparing for any "escalation from Hezbollah or Tehran."
After years of getting the back of Barack Obama's hand, top Israeli officials hailed this agreement, saying Jerusalem and Washington finally "see eye to eye on the trends and processes in the region."

While Obama looked at the tyrants in Tehran and saw the potential for a "very successful regional power," the reality is that Iran's "success" comes at the expense of peace and stability for all of its neighbors, most especially the Jewish state of Israel.

The radical Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies pose an existential threat to Israel. Its leaders have repeatedly vowed to "wipe Israel off the map." They lead frenzied crowds in chants of "Death to Israel! Death to America!"

And just this week, they doubled down on their support for the terrorists of Hamas and voted to recognize Jerusalem as "the everlasting capital of Palestine."

But there is good news too. As President Trump makes it clear that this administration is not interested in dealing with the mullahs, Iranian dissident groups are emboldened and they are fighting back.

Protests have erupted across Iran. Referring to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and to President Rouhani, thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets chanting, "Death to the dictator! Death to Rouhani!" Others yelled, "Let go of Palestine!" and "Leave Syria. Think about us!"

"Merry Christmas" From Israel - In case you missed it, I want to share with you this video of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wishing Christians around the world a merry Christmas. In his remarks, Netanyahu said:
"I'm very proud to be the prime minister of Israel, a country that says 'merry Christmas' first to its Christian citizens and to our Christian friends around the world.

"I'm proud that Israel is the country in which Christians not only survive, but they thrive because we believe in this friendship among people and we protect the rights of everyone to worship in the holy shrines behind me."

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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, 45%, Standing With Israel, Merry Christmas From Israel To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Huma Abedin's Cousin Locked Up As "Flight Risk"

by Daniel Greenfield: Does the family that steals together stays together? In the case of this clan, they may have been stealing separately, but there is an interesting Clinton connection to one of Bill's most infamous scandals.A cousin of Huma Abedin who did a half-billion dollar deal with a man known as the “Russian Donald Trump” was convicted of fraud Tuesday, and the judge ordered him jailed immediately, saying he had demonstrated a “disdain for the courts and legal process” and was a flight risk.

Court documents also depict him trying to destroy potential evidence, saying he emailed his brother to “delete all of my emails from the yahoo site,” expressing “concern about them subp[o]ening yahoo at some point,” while concocting other fake documents to show the jury.
Now deleting emails is definitely a family tradition.Jurors were barred from hearing a recording of a phone call in which Omar Amanat dropped the name of Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman, to a government witness, with defense lawyers saying the remark was “irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial,” according to the Associated Press.Did we get to the point where mentioning Hillary Clinton is prejudicial to a criminal? I know her ratings are bad. I didn't realize they were this bad.In 2013, Amanat partnered with Vladislav Doronin to buy a luxury resort for $358 million.

An in-depth 2014 profile in Fortune magazine says Doronin is “referred to in the British press as the ‘Russian Donald Trump.'” Dorinin was born in what was then Leningrad before moving to Geneva to work for Marc Rich, a financier who fled the U.S. after being indicted for fraud and trading with Iran, and was pardoned by former President Bill Clinton on Clinton’s last day in office.

“Clinton’s motive for pardoning Rich on his last day in office was questioned,” USA Today reports, “because Rich’s ex-wife, Denise Rich, was a wealthy Democratic donor who made a $450,000 donation to Clinton’s presidential library foundation and more than $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.” The pardon was investigated by the FBI in 2001.
Is there some sort of international network of grifters? Do they have meetings and a secret handshake? Do they all meet on the top floor of the Clinton Foundation?Amanat will be sentenced April 25. Another cousin of Abedin’s, Irfan Amanat, has been also charged with fraud and will be tried separately. He, too, has a long record of flouting rules: In 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission said as chief technology officer of a brokerage, he “engaged in a fraudulent scheme” by writing a computer program that tricked the Nasdaq exchange into giving him $50,000 in rebates.They're like the Clintons. Only Muslim.
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Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Huma Abedin's Cousin, Locked Up, "Flight Risk" To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Here Are the 5 Worst ‘Fake News’ Reports on Guns in 2017

by Emily Miller: President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are strongly pro-Second Amendment, which means new gun control laws were dead on arrival in 2017.
But the mainstream media, not to be quietly defeated, exposed its anti-gun bias more than ever this year.

The national newspapers and left-wing TV networks continued to churn out unbalanced reports on gun crime and laws, while refusing to learn accurate terminology. Here are the top offenders.

1. USA Today
The colorful newspaper that lands outside hotel rooms seized the mantel for this year’s most ridiculous, yet hilarious anti-gun propaganda reporting.

One story, authored by the unnamed “editors,” lists accessories that can be added to the popular AR-15 rifle. The authors include in that list a “chain-saw bayonet.” To illustrate this, USA Today tweeted a video depicting an actual chainsaw attached—somehow—to the bottom of a rifle.
Anyone with common sense knows a chain saw weighs more than a rifle and its weight would pull it down, much less be stuck to an electric socket.

Readers immediately mocked the absurd getup by posting mockups of other “possible modifications” to an AR-15—laugh-out-loud things like a nuclear missile and a full-size F-16.
Andrew Wilkow added increasingly smaller AR-15s under the full-size one, like one of those Russian wood dolls of decreasing sizes.
2. CNN
After the horrifying shooting of Republican members of Congress on a softball field, CNN published a story in June titled “Where does the GOP baseball shooting leave the gun control debate?” It was not a news report by any definition.
The entire article is an interview—conducted by email—with the president of the (mostly irrelevant) Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The reporter did not “email interview” any pro-Second Amendment group or activist for any balance. CNN didn’t even include that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who almost died in the politically motivated shooting, had not changed his views on protecting the Second Amendment from any further infringement.

Also, there seems to be no one employed by CNN who has any knowledge of firearms statistics. Jim Acosta, the senior White House correspondent, tweeted: “Since Sandy Hook there have been at least 1,552 mass shootings, with at least 1,767 people killed and 6,227 wounded.”:
Acosta, who has almost a half-million followers on Twitter, was not actually citing CNN, but an article in the left-wing outlet Vox.
Click through the article and you’ll see the data it contains is riddled with errors. It takes statistics from a group called “Gun Violence Archive,” which makes up out of whole cloth the definition of “mass shooting” to include people who are shot, but not killed. The group includes “news reports” for media sources instead of citing law enforcement agencies.

Nowhere in the article does Vox mention that there is an official government definition of “mass shooting,” which is four or more people killed outside the home in one incident.

In fact, the number of people killed annually in mass shootings has been an average of 23 over the last 30 years.
Don’t believe me?

That statistic is from leading gun control voice in Congress Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who gets her data from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Acosta never explained his promotion of the bad reporting. The tweet remains on his account, giving the fake news legitimacy to CNN viewers.

3. NBC News
In this story, published five years after the Sandy Hook massacre, NBC reports that Congress has passed no new gun control laws, even when President Barack Obama was in office. That was true (aside from regulations through the White House), but NBC gives every reason for this, except a fact-based one.

The reason Congress doesn’t pass more gun control laws is that not one has ever been proven to reduce gun crime.
Instead, NBC puts the blame on anti-gun groups not being unified against the powerful NRA. (That would come as big a surprise to the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and other pro-Second Amendment groups.)

NBC also nonsensically reports that gun control groups can’t compete with the resources of the NRA. It leaves out that those groups receive tens of millions of dollars from billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while the NRA is funded by its grassroots members.

To cap off the bias in this story, NBC violates journalism rule 101, which is to ask a representative from the other side of the issue for a response.

4. The Economist
The Economist was once a reliable source of information on economics and finance. But, as this gun story makes clear, the magazine is now a partisan tool of the left.

In a November story about the tragic church shooting in Texas, The Economist cites “mass shooting” data from Mother Jones, a far-left outlet, rather than government agencies. Then the reporter writes that the shooter used an AR-15, which “was prohibited in 1994, but legalized in 2004 when America’s assault-weapons ban expired.”

That’s true, but not the whole story. The ban expired because Congress determined it was not effective in decreasing the number of homicides by rifle. The reader is left with the false impression that lack of a gun ban was directly responsible for the horrific church shooting.

The Economist does not even include data from the FBI, which would illuminate readers about the issue of gun violence. The most recent statistics available are from 2016. The FBI data show that there were 11,004 homicides by firearm. Of those, only 374 were by rifles of any kind.

5. The Associated Press
Almost every media outlet in the country—TV, print, and online—pays the Associated Press to use its wire service to supplement or replace its own reporting. This means AP has an outsized impact on news reports because its work appears in everything from local newspapers to network news.

Eagle-eyed Cargar Dolor recently tweeted to me: “This AP story from today claims that authorities recovered a ‘40mm pistol.’”
Clearly, the reporter knows nothing about the basic ballistics of firearms, and neither do the editors.

I tweeted to AP to correct this to a .40 caliber pistol, which it eventually did. Meanwhile, the more educated public tweeted to me that “40mm” is the size of a cannon or a grenade launcher.

Many of these mistakes would be funny if they weren’t rooted in ideological narrowness. They show how the mainstream media deliberately attempts to confuse the public in order to build support for more gun control laws.

At a higher level, the repeated bad reporting in just one area of public debate that shows the top editors and managers in mainstream media assign reporters to cover gun crime, without any expertise on the subject, research into data, or fact-checking.

If it weren’t for conservative media and informed social media users, the average American might walk the streets in fear of being attacked by someone wielding a rifle with a chainsaw attached to the bottom.
-------------------
Emily Miller is an award-winning journalist and the author of the book "Emily Gets Her Gun" about gun control policies. Shared by The Daily Signal.

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Educational Rot

Dr. Walter E. Williams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: My recent columns have focused on the extremely poor educational outcomes for black students. There’s enough blame for all involved to have their fair share. That includes students who are hostile and alien to the educational process and have derelict, uninterested home environments. After all, if there is not someone in the home to ensure that a youngster does his homework, has wholesome meals, gets eight to 10 hours of sleep and behaves in school, educational dollars won’t produce much.

There’s another educational issue that’s neither flattering nor comfortable to confront. That’s the low academic quality of so many teachers. It’s an issue that must be confronted and dealt with if we’re to improve the quality of education. Most states require prospective teachers to pass a certification test. How about a sample of some of the test questions.

Here’s a question from a recent test given to college students in Michigan planning to become teachers: “Which of the following is largest? a. 1/4, b. 3/5, c. 1/2, d. 9/20.” Another question: “A town planning committee must decide how to use a 115-acre piece of land. The committee sets aside 20 acres of the land for watershed protection and an additional 37.4 acres for recreation. How much of the land is set aside for watershed protection and recreation? a. 43.15 acres, b. 54.6 acres, c. 57.4 acres, d. 60.4 acres”.

The Arizona teacher certification test asks: “Janet can type 250 words in 5 minutes, what is her typing rate per minute? a. 50wpm, b. 66wpm, c. 55wpm, d. 45wpm.” The California Basic Educational Skills Test asks the test taker to find the verb in the following sentence: “The interior temperatures of even the coolest stars are measured in millions of degrees. a. Coolest, b. Of even, c. Are measured, d. In millions." A CBEST math question is: “You purchase a car making a down payment of $3,000 and 6 monthly payments of $225. How much have you paid so far for the car? a. $3225, b. $4350, c. $5375, d. $6550, e. $6398.”

My guess is that these are questions that an eighth- or ninth-grader with a good education ought to be able to answer. Such test questions demonstrate the low bar that states set in order for one to become a certified teacher. Even with such low expectations, college graduates have failed these and similarly constructed teacher certification tests. Recently, New York, after being tied up in court for years, dropped its teacher literacy test amid claims of racism.

A 2011 investigation by WSB-TV found that more than 700 Georgia teachers had repeatedly failed at least one portion of the certification test they were required to pass before receiving a teaching certificate. Nearly 60 teachers had failed the test more than 10 times, and one teacher had failed the test 18 times. There were 297 teachers on the Atlanta school system’s payroll who had failed the state certification test five times or more.

With but a few exceptions, schools of education represent the academic slums of colleges. They tend to be home to students who have the lowest academic test scores — for example, SAT scores — when they enter college. They also tend to have the lowest scores when they graduate and choose to take postgraduate admissions tests — such as the GRE, the MCAT and the LSAT. Professors at schools of education tend to have the lowest level of academic respectability. American education could benefit from eliminating schools of education.

You might ask: Without schools of education, how would teachers be trained? I think that we ought to adopt a practice whereby teachers are hired according to their undergraduate major. I learned this talking to a headmistress of a private school. She said she doesn’t hire education majors. She said that if she hires a teacher to teach chemistry, math, English or any other subject, the person must have a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. Pedagogical techniques can be learned through short formal training, coaching and experience.
--------------
Walter Williams  is an American economist, social commentator, and author of over 150 publications. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the UCLA and B.A. in economics from California State University. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College. He has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980. Visit his website: walterewilliams.com and view a list of other articles and works.

Tags: Walter Williams, commentary, Educational Rot To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Will War Cancel Trump’s Triumphs?

by Patrick Buchanan: Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, “I survived.”

Donald Trump can make the same boast.

No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ’50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate coverage and commentary as has our 45th president.

Whatever one may think of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken, and remained as cocky and confident?

And looking back on what may fairly be called The Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.

With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.

With deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.

Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U.S.

Though Beijing’s trade surplus with us is returning to record highs, a spirit of “America First” economic nationalism is pervasive among U.S. trade negotiators,

The one justice named to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, appears in the Antonin Scalia tradition. And under Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Senate judiciary committee is moving conservatives and strict constructionists onto U.S. appellate and district courts.

Politically, however, the year brought bad news, with portents of worse to come. In November, the Republican Party was thrashed in Virginia, losing all state offices, and then lost a Senate seat in Alabama.

Given polls showing Trump under water and the GOP running 10 points behind the Democratic Party in favorability, there is a possibility the GOP could lose the House in 2018.

And though Democrats have three times as many seats at risk in 2018, the GOP losing the Senate is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Should that happen, the conservative dream of a recapture of the U.S. Supreme Court could swiftly vanish.

Recall: Democratic Senates turned down two Nixon nominees and Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, forcing both presidents to name justices who evolved into moderates and liberals on the high court.

But it is in the realm of foreign policy where the real perils seem to lie. President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

Trump’s choice then? Accept defeat and humiliation for our “ally” — or escalate and widen the conflict with Russia.

Putin’s interest in the Donbass, a part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for centuries, is obvious.

What, exactly, is ours — to justify a showdown with Moscow?

In this city there is also a powerful propaganda push to have this country tear up the nuclear deal John Kerry negotiated with Iran, and confront the Iranians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

But how much backing would Trump have for another U.S. war in that blood-soaked region, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Who would stand with us, and for how long?

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and pledged to move our embassy there, we had to veto a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning us. Then the General Assembly denounced the U.S. in a resolution supported by all our key NATO allies, Russia and China, and every Arab and Muslim nation.

A day later, Trump complained on Twitter that we have “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.”

What then would justify a new $1 or $2 trillion war with the largest nation on the Persian Gulf, which could send oil to $200 a barrel and sink the global economy?

Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

The Korean War finished Truman. Vietnam finished LBJ. Reagan said putting Marines into Lebanon was his worst mistake. Iraq cost Bush II both houses of Congress and his party the presidency in 2008.

Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.
--------------------
Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Tale of Two Sectors

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” begins Charles Dickens’ popular 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities. The British master was not prophesying our times. He was describing the period of the French Revolution.

But the judgment feels awfully familiar.

Over at the Foundation for Economic Education, Antony Davis and James R. Harrigan talk up the case for “the best of times,” for optimism: “Global illiteracy rates are below 14 percent. Global rates of extreme poverty are below 10 percent. Despite there being more people currently alive on the planet than ever before, there are also more calories per capita than ever before.”

Davis and Harrigan provide actual reasons for thankfulness as we meet the New Year.

Is there a case for pessimism, nevertheless? Yes. And Davis and Harrigan discuss at length a topic covered earlier this month: the Ballou High School educational improvement scandal.

Optimism and pessimism, rationally speaking, fall into two camps: private sector progress and government-sector regress.

So, following Dickens’ checklist, ours is an age of
  • wisdom and foolishness — check (both)
  • belief and incredulity — check (pick your subject)
  • Light and Darkness — check (just move your eyes from higher ed’s hard science departments to the humanities)
and on and on.*

But the most unsettling thing about the “best of times” is that sometimes the great feeling of ebullience can end suddenly: one feels great in free fall — unburdened! free! — right before one hits the pavement.

Splat.

Maybe the best thing we can do this coming New Year is watch our governments as if we were hawks. To avoid the splat.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Dickens’ long and memorable first paragraph: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness . . .”
------------------
Paul Jacob is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Voices From The Grave Cry Out For Justice In Iran

Protesters in Mashhad Iran
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: On Thursday, thousands of Iranians protested against the ruling regime in Iran’s second-largest city, Mashhad. Chants of “death to dictator” and “death to Rouhani” were brave and resounding.

These protests showed once again that the ruling clerics clearly cannot respond to the people’s legitimate economic demands. Inflation, unemployment and poverty are running rampant. Corruption has permeated every aspect of economic and government life, leading to vast disenchantment against the velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) among the population.

That disenchantment has been brewing for 38 years, since the “Islamic” state’s founding in 1979. However, the regime has used suppression, imprisonment, torture, and mass murder to silence the population. Tehran is trying its utmost to conceal this war at home between the people and the regime.

There is a passage in scripture that says, “Those who would do evil love the darkness.” We know that violent, evil regimes love the darkness. It is incumbent upon us as individuals, nation states, and communities of nation states to put pressure on the regime to give access to the community so that we might shine light on the evils that have been committed.

As a consequence of such constant pressure, we give hope to the disenchanted population of Iran waiting to rise up. This pressure will help them punch holes in the darkness, as was the case in Mashhad. During those protests, Iranians showed that they are not a participant of the regime’s wars in the region, including in Syria. They chanted, “Let go of Syria and think about us;” and “Not to Gaza, not to Lebanon, I dedicate my life to Iran.”

Their chants of “death to the dictator” were important because it falls in a political climate punctuated by growing demands for justice for the regime’s massacre of thousands of dissidents in 1988. I have had the privilege of being involved in this international movements, demanding access, transparency, accountability, justice, and closure for the families of the victims of this mass murder in Iran.

In the 1990s, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Clyde Snow, one of the world’s foremost experts in forensic anthropology. Dr. Snow played an instrumental role in bringing justice to Argentina by uncovering the mass graves left behind by the country’s dirty war.

After the fall of the military government in Argentina, forensic scientists were invited to the country in order to investigate the atrocities. One of these scientists was Clyde Snow, who recruited a group of Argentine students to aid in his investigation. Their work included the methodical excavations of graves. They carefully organized and recorded all of the remains and evidence found.

Dr. Snow’s findings brought light to the families, and this was important for people who previously had no knowledge of their relatives’ fate. His testimony and evidence presented in court also led to the conviction of several members of the junta dictatorship.

Today in Argentina, that group of forensic anthropologists is still in existence and as a result of Dr. Snow’s inquiry, continues to use his methods to investigate human rights abuses.

When it comes to the 1988 massacre, the U.S. government needs to advocate for the access of this sort of team to Iran. A concerted and comprehensive international pressure on a regime already at war with its people can help bring closure to the families of the victims of the summer of blood in 1988.

I have requested from the U.S. delegation at the United Nations and Ambassador Nikki Haley for their constant demand for access for the sort of work that Dr. Snow did to be repeated in Iran.

The regime resists these calls because it has something to hide. But the U.S. must push and advocate for justice for the 1988 massacre.

The U.S. delegation at the U.N. should continue to be a leading voice not only on the threats of international terrorism perpetuated by the regime but also to bring justice to those human rights advocates in Iran. The people of Iran have the experience of a brutal history where young girls were killed simply for handing out leaflets.

The 1988 massacre is a constant reminder of what the people who are presently under the hammer of the regime are experiencing. All indications are that protests will increase in Iran in 2018. The Iranian people are looking to the international community for a significantly elevated moral support.
------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the board of numerous conservative policy organizations and is an advisor to the Jewish Institute for Nation Security Affairs. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Voices, The Grave Cry Out, For Justice, Iran To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Dr. Savage, Is It Very Christian' To Disregard Truth?

Alan Keyes
by Dr. Alan Keyes:: Judging by the arguments Michael Savage has had with non-religious, atheistic, and even Satanistic callers, I had reached the conclusion that he was someone who believes in God as the ruler of all Creation, as befits his Jewish heritage. I would also have said that he is not ignorant of the fact that Christians believe in Jesus Christ, as the Word made flesh to offer redemption to humanity. Those discussions also appear to warrant the conclusion that Mr. Savage is an intelligent person, who may in fact deserve the title "Doctor," which signifies the diligent use of that intelligence to inform his mind by way of reason, according to God's will for human nature.

Then I read the following passage from an article he wrote about the outcome of the recent election for U.S. senator in Alabama (which, like Judge Roy Moore and many others, I suspect to be tainted by fraud):The people of Alabama decided that he was a hypocrite whether they knew these allegations were true or false; it didn't matter to a certain point. What mattered was the number of accusations. The electorate decided they didn't want anyone as tainted as him in office. Alabama is a very Christian, very conservative state, which left voters with a moral conundrum rather than a political one.The allegations to which Mr. Savage refers were the result of a Washington Post story deceitfully contrived to lend credence to statements alleging that, some decades ago, Roy Moore committed an infamous crime. Prior to that story, Judge Moore was rightly regarded as a faithful member of the living body of Christ. He won this reputation by repeatedly bearing sacrificial witness to the truth and moral supremacy of God's written and Incarnate Word, as befits a follower of Jesus Christ. Yet Mr. Savage contends that Alabama is to be regarded as a "very Christian" state even though – on the unreasonable assumption that the purported outcome of the election is not the result of deceit and fraud – the Alabama electorate rejected the evidence of good faith that Christ instructs his followers to take most seriously.

Mr. Savage opines that "the people of Alabama decided that he was a hypocrite whether they knew these allegations were true or false...." But Christ, to the contrary, repeatedly and harshly condemns as hypocrites the Scribes and Pharisees who rejected and condemned him despite the contrary evidence of his actions. As for the truthfulness of witnesses, Christ did not say his followers should trust in their words alone, however plausible they may appear. He directed us to look for their fruits. In the case of the witnesses against Roy Moore, the plainly intended fruit of their testimony was to discredit someone who has borne self-sacrificial witness to God's written and Incarnate Word, in order to prefer to a position of authority in government someone who insists that the force of law should be abused to enforce acceptance of actions the Bible repeatedly makes clear that God hates.

Unlike Mr. Savage, people instructed by the example of Christ would never say that indifference to truth and an election based on that indifference is "an affirmation of Christian values." Those who truly revere Christ remember that he was crucified in consequence of just such an election, by a Roman prefect whose name therefore became a shameful byword for indifference to truth, everywhere the Cross of Christ is upheld in worship.

Also, unlike Mr. Savage, people instructed by the example of Christ would never dismiss what "small fry" have to say. For they remember that the worship of Christ depended on Apostles and disciples, at first pitiably few in number, whom the world savagely disesteemed as lowly and of no account. But those whom the world despised God "magnified...exalted...filled with good things." These things are not to be understood according to the standard of the world's desires, but according to the standard of God's will, which is the substance of right and justice for humanity, as for the whole of all Creation.

So, unlike Mr. Savage, I cannot pretend that a deceit-corrupted election, bearing fruit that God abhors and condemns, must be taken as a true sign of anything at all about the quality of Christian faith in Alabama. But if the irrational conclusions Mr. Savage draws from that fallacious election are any indication, I am willing, as one Doctor to another who claims that title, to question whether, in his judgment about the late election, he is speaking as a Doctor, or as one who, in departing from the path of rational knowledge that title implies, acts without benefit of the learning that substantiates its worth.

What learned person would conclude that numbers are more important than truthfulness when it comes to judging empirical facts? For those who revere their ideology or ambition more than truth are likely to conceal, fabricate, or falsify numbers and other evidence, as do the would-be tyrants whose quest for totalitarian government power leads them to peddle the ideology of catastrophic man-made climate change. To the same end, anti-Christ forces in America manipulate ignorant passion to foment a mob mentality. In this they most resemble the racist mobs, cloaked in darkness, that once elected to hang black Americans in Alabama and elsewhere, though the victims were guilty of nothing more or less than exercising their natural right to be as God made them to be.

The people who engineered the deceitful election in Alabama induced an outcome that exactly corresponds to such mob rule. Though Mr. Savage takes this as a valid sign of Christian faith, I take it as an outcome that betrays – in its means, its intent, and its predictably evil consequences – the Christian insights that inform the understanding of justice and rights that has, until lately, informed America's goodwill. This betrayal is fair warning of the open and final demise of the self-government of the American people, which is inevitable unless and until people of good faith prevail upon this nation to return to the premises of God's authority without which its rightful liberty cannot endure.
--------------
Alan Keyes served as Asst Secretary of State for International Organizations and as Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council under President Ronald Reagan. He ran for president in 1996, 2000 and 2008, and was a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate for Maryland in 1988 and 1992, and for Illinois in 2004 against Democrat Barack Obama. He also writes for Renew America where he first shared this article and blogs at LoyaltoLiberty.com.

Tags: Alan Keyes, commentary, Dr. Michael Savage, Is It Very Christian, To Disregard Truth? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
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  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
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  • 10/21/18 - 10/28/18
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